Just 12 Billionaires Produce More Emissions Than 2 Million Average Homes

Bill Gates speaks at a climate summit, in a talk presumably titled Do As I Say, Not As I Do
Photo: Bennett Raglin (Getty Images)

Billionaires love the planet. They have to, right? They spend so much money on developing green tech and combatting climate change, it all must mean something to them. They’re in it for the good of humanity, so surely they’re practicing what they preach, right?

Maybe not, according to new research from Oxfam. Rather than making the personal choices they seem to wish upon all of us, it seems the ultra-wealthy are happy making all the carbon emissions they please — so much, in fact, that 12 billionaires emit as much as 2.1 million homes. From The Guardian:

The tycoons include the Amazon boss, Jeff Bezos, the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, the tech billionaires Bill Gates, Larry Page and Michael Dell, the inventor and social media company owner Elon Musk and the Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim.

Analysis by Oxfam and US researchers of their luxury purchases, which include superyachts, private jets, cars, helicopters and palatial mansions, combined with the impact of their financial investments and shareholdings reveals that they account for almost 17m tonnes of CO2 and equivalent greenhouse gas emissions annually.

This is the same as the CO2 and equivalent emissions from powering 2.1m homes or the emissions from 4.6 coal-fired power plants over a year, according to conversion data from the US Environmental Protection Agency.

I, for one, am truly shocked. You’re telling me that the people who fought to ensure that poor, downtrodden pharmaceutical companies would see their Covid vaccine profits rather than having those vaccines recklessly doled out to people who were “at risk” and “in need of medical care” don’t truly care about humanity? All the green investments were just regular, profit-earning investment, and the summit talks were just greenwashing and empty words? Well, I’m stunned. I gotta lie down.


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